Reported on: August 12, 2012 12:21 PM
Reported in: Sports
LONDON, Aug 12 (AP/UNB) - Russia is already assured it will bring home the most medals of any nation competing in wrestling at the London Olympics. The question now is how many.
The world's pre-eminent wrestling nation would like a couple more golds on Sunday to crown a brilliant performance in London.
Abdusalam Gadisov is considered a likely candidate to give his country its fifth gold medal of the London Games when wrestling concludes with the 66 and 96-kilogram men's freestyle tournaments on Sunday.
Gadisov, who had to beat four-time world champion Khashimourad Gatsalov just to earn Russia's spot for London, will first have to get by Beijing silver medalist Taimuraz Tigiyev of Kazakhstan.
Iran's Reza Yazdani, the current world champion, will likely await the winner in the round of 16.
The rough draw at the bottom could be good news for American Jake Varner. The former protege of 2004 Olympic gold medalist Cael Sanderson appears favored to reach the semifinals, where a matchup with Beijing bronze medalist Georgi Gogshelidze is a strong possibility.
Turkey's Serhat Balci lost to Yazdani in Istanbul at the world championships last year but could get a rematch with the Iranian star in London.
A pair of world champions will meet in the first round at 66 kilograms in Turkey's Ramazan Sahin and Sushil Kumar of India.
If Kumar wins, he'd be on track to become the first Indian wrestler to reach an Olympic final.
In the round of 16, the reigning world champion Mehdi Sadegh Taghavi Kermani of Iran could face a rematch with the man he beat in Istanbul last year, Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu of Japan.
Japan's men haven't won gold since the Seoul Games in 1998, but Yonemitsu is perhaps their best hope yet to change that.